What I Learned from Overcommitment in College

So, if you know me from my college days, then you know that I was the QUEEN of overcommitment. YES, I did SO many things in college (read it all here!) and – trust me – I LOVED every minute of it all, too. Although I did love love love my overcommitment college years, it also had its pitfalls: I most definitely spent many nights up until 3am, worked nonstop, and some all-nighters in the mix. My life in college consisted of work, blogging, committee meetings, social outings, and coffee all in between it all. My life in college contains some of my best memories. BUT, since graduating from college, y’all, I have been TIRED now more than ever before – LOL! The affects of being a workaholic in college are not what I need in my postgraduate years, especially as my priorities will shift when I fulfill my hopeful aspirations of becoming a married working Mama. So, I’m going to be sharing some key takeaways from my years of overcommitting in college.

  1. Sleep is VITAL – When in college, I literally complained to my good friend Claire one night about how I hated sleep – LOL! Seriously, this ACTUALLY happened as I wanted more time to do everything that I had to do without being tired, I mean, same. BUT, as Claire said back to me, “sleep is good.” Yes, sleep is good and always will be. We ALL need sleep even if it is just for a few hours each night. Y’all I rarely listened to my body in college and we have to. Our self care, including SLEEP, is vital to our successes in our career, personal lives, and of course of our physical and mental health.
  2. Prioritize – Yep, when it comes to deciding what you want to get involved in, prioritizing is KEY. Yep – when choosing involvement I definitely learned that I need to pick and choose what I’m most passionate about and what will suit my strengths, MEANWHILE, at the same time, deciding what fits into my schedule given my own personal commitments. For me, nowadays, that is 2-3 things on a regular basis with events related to other interests spread out over the months/year. Personally, being overcommitted kept me going in college as it allowed me to utilize my strengths outside of the classroom in a way that I was also passionate about along with my academics. However, as I got out of college and being wayyy too overcommitted during those days, I have learned that there is only so much that I can do with my time.
  3. Mental Health MATTERS – You know that phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty glass”? Well, we ALL need that valuable time to recharge ourselves and focus on our mental health. Above all else, your mental health matters. I used to break down mentally quite a bit in college. Sadly, I never really knew how to prioritize myself much in college. BUT, as I get out into the real world and am working for a company that truly sees the importance of self care, I find it now more important to take care of myself now more than ever before. I have seen some of my coworkers even take mental health days off, as it is ENCOURAGED. It felt nothing but empowering and rewarding to be able to work at a company that so truly values their employees and their wellbeing. Meanwhile, I also feel now more than ever before that I have to put myself first – above ALL of my extracurriculars and activities and work that I do.
  4. Full Time Jobs are MORE Time Demanding than a Single College Course – While in college, I was in classes usually starting at 10am and ending at 3:30pm with SEVERAL breaks in between that whole mix. That being said, I probably spent 4 hours maybe 5 hours per day in classes while in college. In retrospect, that is NOT a lot of hours. I spent 15-18 hours maximum in a class each week. Nowadays, I do a 40 hour work week as a full time employee. There is a MAJOR difference between getting involved in many extracurriculars and having 18 hours spent in the classroom versus getting involved in many extracurriculars and having 40 hours spent in the classroom. I barely feel awake sometimes after a full day of hard work, yet those are the most rewarding days! So, try adding in 8+ extracurricular activities atop of it all. Well, I think not!
  5. Work comes FIRST – Not going to lie, there were times where I definitely prioritized my committees and extracurricular work over my own schoolwork. While my schoolwork was why I came to college, I also LOVED my activities which kept me overcommitted during those years. I most definitely put my college life and activities first. BUT, I have learned through overcommitment that you do have to put your work first above all else at times. When I say this, I am NOT by any means saying that if you need to take time for yourself, whether to have a mental health day, need a sick day, or even a family matter, then do so and please do it to take care of yourself. BUT there are times that you will not want to show up for a meeting for work, go into the office, or something else, but you need to for your job and for your commitments made. I have always been taught to honor my commitments when I make them. It shows value and true integrity. Remember that.

Above all else, being an overcommitted college student taught me A LOT. It taught me the value of a hard work’s day, to prioritize my work, to feel rewarded by my way, and to truly take care of me. Sometimes, me does come before anything else and that is OKAY. Remember that, y’all.

XOXO – Katie <3

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